The Emperor's New Groove (USA, 2000)
Directed by Mark Dindal
Starring David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton
In the early-2000s, Disney released two films with the common theme or device of people being transformed into animals as a means to make them change their ways. One of these films was Brother Bear, which began very strongly before quickly collapsing into Disney convention, irritating sidekicks and sub-par Phil Collins songs. The other was The Emperor's New Groove, which is very enjoyable in spite of its many, many flaws.
The Sword in the Stone - namely a very funny sidekick and a memorable villain. Kronk is on one level just a muscle-bound version of Radcliffe's assistant Wiggins from Pocahontas: he appears completely distracted and stupid, but is often smarter than the people he serves. Whether by skill or sheer luck, Kronk comes across as a funny and adorable guy, whose non-sequiturs often inject energy into the plot (as does his theme song).
Sleeping Beauty in her scheming nature and choice of colours. But like Eleanor Audley, Kitt understands the archetype she is playing very well, and manages to do the very best with the little she has to work with. Elsewhere John Goodman is well-cast as Pacha and David Spade does a decent job as Kuzco, though he is very obnoxious at times.
Apologies to Lindsay Ellis (a.k.a. the Nostalgia Chick) for stealing her intro for this review. You can hear her opinions on both Brother Bear and The Emperor's New Groove in her video on Disney sequels here.
NEXT REVIEW: Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)